It is impossible to go through a news cycle these days without hearing about the labor shortage and how hard it is to recruit candidates. You hear about this especially for the hospitality, service, and nonprofit industry. As someone who has proudly been involved one way or another with the nonprofit industry for almost three decades, I want to say the struggle to find talent is nothing new.
I started my career working at a school for children who had severe cognitive limitations, behavioral issues, and in some cases were also on the autism spectrum. Finding teachers, teacher assistants, residential aids, and other staff was always a struggle. When I transitioned to other types of youth programs and workforce development, although the positions changed, the challenge in finding talent did not.
When looking at why finding talent can be a struggle, here are some key factors:
- Organizations often lack a dedicated talent acquisition person or team to create and implement a strategy to not only attract but directly recruit talent.
- The work is very challenging, either with high workloads, limited resources, or the emotional toll the work can take.
- The nonprofit industry has a reputation for not paying competitive wages as compared to the for-profit industry.
Thankfully, there are some things that can be done to offset this:
- Leverage a talent acquisition resource. Even if it is not possible to hire a full-time person, you can leverage a consultant to build the strategy and train your team. This is more effective than posting a position on a job board and hoping for good applicants.
- Think about ways to off-set some work. Consider partnering with a workforce development organization to provide on the job training.
- Offer benefits that can really support your teams. For example, a dedicated mental health professional to support staff when needed or time and resources for training for career advancement.
Benjamin Freedman is the CEO of Weiser Innovations. Weiser is an innovative talent acquisition firm with deep roots in the nonprofit sector and partners with 501(c) Services to provide talent acquisition assistance to its nonprofit clients. Contact us today for talent acquisition assistance.